What better gift that a romantic getaway? Here are some ideas for destinations that you’re sure to fall for head over heels.
What better gift that a romantic getaway? Obviously, there’s the unmissable Venice (link to the Valentine’s Day article on Venice), which is guaranteed to enchant couples in search of a romantic setting. Hot on its heels in the romance stakes is Strasbourg, which holds its own with the Strasbourg Mon Amour festival. But we’ve also uncovered some hidden gems that are sure to inspire you for your next romantic escape.
Toulouse: La Ville Rose
Ah, Toulouse. Home of the magnificent Place du Capitole and its pretty little cafés nestled beneath the arches. A city with the scent of violets wafting through the air, and a southern pace of life. Known as La Ville Rose or the “Pink City” as almost all of its buildings are built from brick, it certainly isn’t lacking in charm, particularly at dusk when it glows in the light of the setting sun. To delight your true love, take them on a cruise on board a barge (https://www.toulouse-croisieres.com) along the Garonne or Canal du Midi. As a young, dynamic city, Toulouse also boasts a great nightlife. Will the French aeronautics capital whisk you away to seventh heaven?
Verona: the city of the star-crossed lovers
Made famous by Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet, Verona is an incredibly romantic city. You’ll be able to see the famous balcony where Romeo delivers his soliloquy in a small courtyard off the Via Cappello. Located less than an hour from Venice, it’s an original alternative if you want to enjoy the charm of Italy without the crowds. It has the most extensive Roman remains in Northern Italy. The amphitheatre is just as impressive as Rome’s Colosseum. And it still hosts numerous shows. On top of that, don’t miss the chance to snap a photo together at the old Ponte Pietra bridge at sunset. Veneto is also the region where they make prosecco, one of the country’s top sparkling wines. So remember to have a bottle brought up to your room.
Santorini: a legend on the horizon
World-renowned for its breathtaking views, Santorini sits above a spectacular volcanic crater submerged beneath the waters of the Aegean Sea. The legend of Atlantic hangs around this island – part of the Cyclades group – although the story has never been proven. From the immaculate white-painted villages clinging to the cliffside, you can admire stunning sunsets and stars mirrored in the caldera. A winter trip isn’t a bad idea as you’ll easily find amazing accommodation with a jacuzzi to boot. And you’ll be able to enjoy this unrivalled view in complete privacy.
Cagliari: the dolce vita in Sardinia
From atop its rocky outcrop, the Castello overlooks the Sardinian capital. It offers amazing panoramas over the bay of Cagliari or, as it’s better known, the Gulf of Angels. Within the upper town, there are several palaces that have been converted into charming luxury hotels. If you’re a fan of literature, you’ll be following in the footsteps of British novelist D.H. Lawrence, who poetically described the beauty of this island in his book Sea and Sardinia. The chioschi are still there. At these traditional huts, you can enjoy seafood platters washed down with a glass of vermentino, a typical Italian white wine. And after this feast, the immense Poetto beach is the dream location for a romantic stroll. The dolce vita is alive and kicking in Sardinia.
Vienna: beneath the gilded palaces
There’s nothing like an imperial capital to charm your partner. Their eyes will light up when they see the gilded Baroque palaces, which have been home to a string of famous faces, from royals to renowned composers. Vienna keeps its passion for music alive and cultivates a sophisticated lifestyle. Pull out all the stops by booking to see a concert or an opera; the prices are affordable if you book in advance. And no visit to the Austrian capital would be complete without a ride on the giant Ferris wheel before enjoying a delicious café viennois.